(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) told Fox News on Wednesday that if Republicans “rush through” Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh while there are “unanswered sexual assault allegations,” the Democrats will keep digging, and if Kavanaugh lied under oath, “you could see a judicial impeachment.”
“If the Republicans rush through a nominee where you have unanswered sexual assault allegations, I can promise you that Democratic senators will be interested in going and looking at those allegations, and if Judge Kavanaugh lied under oath, you could see a judicial impeachment, and that’s not good for anybody, so we should try and avoid that,” the congressman said.
Swalwell said the FBI should investigate Ford’s claims and reopen the Kavanaugh investigation just like it did with the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
When asked what Swalwell wants the FBI to investigate, he said, “What they have investigated before whether it was this nominee or whether it was with Clarence Thomas. They reopened that investigation to interview this victim, to interview other people who were involved at the party and to interview Judge Kavanaugh.”
Fox News’s Sandra Smith pointed out that Fox News White House Correspondent John Roberts said there are three reasons why there cannot be a criminal investigation into Ford’s claims. One, “there is no crime alleged where the statute of limitations has not run.” Also, “there are no allegations of a federal crime. The only investigation the FBI does is a background investigation.”
Swalwell said, “No one is calling for a criminal investigation.” Furthermore, he said Smith was “confusing what the FBI does. The FBI conducts background investigations for nominees.”
Smith pointed out that Kavanaugh has had six background investigations.
Swalwell said he understands why Trump, who has had “13 credible sexual assault allegations against him” may not want to order the FBI to investigate his nominee.
“Yes, and there’s new information now that has come forward, just as there was in the Clarence Thomas hearing, and they reopened that, but that takes the president to order it. Now I understand why a president who has 13 credible sexual assault allegations against him may not want to order somebody to investigate a judge he nominated with a sexual assault allegation, but that’s the right thing to do,” the congressman said.
Smith quoted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), saying, “Requiring an FBI investigation of a 36-year-old allegation (without specific references to time or location) before Professor Ford will appear before the Judiciary Committee is not about finding the truth, but delaying the process until after the midterm elections.”
“Again, that is confusing and standing on process and ignoring a substantive credible allegation,” Swalwell said. “Do we want a judge on the Supreme Court if this is true? I don’t understand the argument that even if this is true, it’s expired beyond some arbitrary fantasy deadline so Judge Kavanaugh should just go to the Supreme Court. That doesn’t make sense at all.”
Smith pointed out that even the president said he wants to hear from Ford.
Swalwell said he has worked as a prosecutor with sexual assault victims. He noted that Ford has had death threats and “didn’t sleep in her own bed last night, and all she is asking is that other witnesses also be interviewed and that she doesn’t have to sit at the same table in just five days with the judge that she has made this allegation against, that we have a process here that is responsible and shows dignity towards this victim.”
Smith read a statement from the Wall Street Journal editorial board that pointed to the Democrats using Ford’s allegations as an attempt to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote until after the November elections, which it said “would spare Democrats running for re-election in Donald Trump states from having to take a difficult confirmation vote. If Democrats take the Senate majority, they’ll then insist on no vote until the new Senate convenes in January.”
Swalwell said he thinks Ford “should be afforded a process that looks at these claims, and yes, hopefully, she could testify, but sitting next to the judge as Senator Grassley proposed in such a rushed way, that’s not fair to her.”